The Neanderthal LH is a double robusto box-pressed that measures 4 3/4 x 56. The blend uses the same components of the rest of the line including a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Connecticut broadleaf binder and Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvanian filler. It uses a full leaf of Green River Sucker One ligero from Pennsylvania which is much more than the standard line. The Neanderthal LH costs $15 a stick and comes in 15-count boxes. Production is only 22,500 total cigars per year. The cigar just hit shelves this month.
The Neanderthal LH appears to be the quintessence of what the Neanderthal line set out to achieve. This first-ever trunk pressed (far more squared off than a typical box press) cigar boasts a formidably dark, maduro wrapper, with nearly invisible seams and unobtrusive veins; the wrapper is slightly rough to the touch. Sitting at 56 RG, this dark beauty of a stick is fundamentally intimidating, almost monolithic in nature.
The smell coming of the wrapper is a rich, intense combination of dark chocolate, raisins, leather and charred meat. I use a Xikar XO cutter to cleanly remove the flat cap, the trademark of the Neanderthal line, and the cold draw reveals more of the same notes as from the wrapper. This LH (lovingly attributed as Lord Humungous) seems to be a standard Neanderthal, but on steroids. This thing is big, beefy, jacked, and angry. And I’m going to take it down.
“From first light, I can tell that this thing is going to be a beast. It takes little effort to get burning, which is surprising for a cigar of this hefty size, and the first few light puffs still hit me in the face like a pair of 8oz gloves. I’m thankful I ate a hefty dinner before lighting this stick; even with my high nicotine tolerance, this blend hits hard.
The flavors are bold, complex, and demand your full *ATTENTION* so do yourself a favor, and don’t attempt to do anything else while enjoying this cigar, aside from smoking it and perhaps enjoying a tasty beverage. It deserves your attention, and will get it, one way or another. Notes from the pre-light start off intensely; the leather and charred meat predominately. Surprisingly the pepper is strong, but not overwhelmingly so, even on retro, which is pleasant and brings out the more subtle tasting notes of rich topsoil and black licorice.
The cigar is burning like a boss as the end of the first third approaches. Solid burn line, and burn depth seems to be perfect. The draw is pleasantly firm, reminiscent of all the other siblings in the Neanderthal line. The ash holds to a bit over an inch before it drops neatly off, remaining intact in the ashtray. ”
This freight train is still going strong; flavors remain the same from the first 1/3, but are melding and blending pleasantly. The strength and nic kick has slightly subsided; either that or I’m just getting accustomed to it. The burn remains straight and true, and the draw has slightly opened up, which is beneficial.
This cigar is nothing if not consistent. Consistent burn, consistently good draw, and consistent flavor/strength. The final 1/3 of most cigars in my experience tends to be lackluster, but not so much for Lord Humungous. Momentum is carrying this thing through, and the large RG helps keep any bitterness from developing. The retro is much spicier towards the end of the cigar, but that is to be expected. I enjoy it until the ash creeps near my fingertips, and set it aside, feeling throughly satisfied, as if I just finished going a full match with a professional boxer, and living to tell the tale. And for all you naysayers, both the orange and white bands came off simultaneously, with little resistance, and intact. ;)
I’ll preface this by admitting full well that I don’t generally enjoy larger RG cigars, and typically smoke 46RG and below. That being said, this cigar blew my mind. I’ve always had fondness for the Neanderthal line, and with this cigar, I think Skip and Mike finally distilled their goal into the perfect package. It’s squat and buff, in your face and unrelenting, and yet you keep wanting to come back for more. My total smoke time was 1 hour 55 minutes, but with a nubbing tool I could have squeezed another 10-15 minutes out of it; very impressive for such a short cigar. If you’re a fan of strong cigars with a complex variety of flavors, regardless of vitola preference, I recommend you get your hands on one of these as soon as you can.
-Nate H. (SineQuaNon)